Marriage

A resource is coming soon! In the meantime, check out this great information from the Diocese of New Westminster!

We hope that your wedding will be a very special occasion and that it will symbolize your love for each other and God’s love that will surround and uphold you all your lives.  

What is marriage?

In marriage, people give and find respect, comfort, help, delight, and tenderness. They may or may not have children. Marriage means commitment and care in good times and in bad. Each is linked to the family of the other. Marriage is a gift of God.  

What are the requirements for marriage?

The province of British Columbia requires a license to marry, which is valid for three months. Each party to the marriage must be 19 years of age or have both parents sign a consent form at the time of licensing. Neither partner may be currently married, or too closely related to the other. To be married in the Anglican Church of Canada, at least one of the couple must have been baptized in a Christian church (not necessarily Anglican). You must purchase your marriage license from the Provincial Government at 818 Fort Street, phone 250-952-2681 for full details You can even get them at London Drugs!  They will require your full names, birth-place and birth dates, marital status and address. The cost is $100, and the license expires in three months from the date of purchase. You must bring the license to the church 2 weeks before the date of your wedding.  

What marriage preparation is required?

All couples married by the Church undergo marriage preparation. Often this is by attending an approved course. In some cases, the priest who will perform the marriage will prepare the couple. It is important to examine issues such as communication, how you will handle money, and whether or not you will have children. Any successful long-term relationship takes work. You will have the opportunity not only to talk about things that might challenge your marriage but also to identify and celebrate what will make your relationship strong.  

Do the couple have to be part of the Anglican Church?

Being part of the Anglican Church of Canada is not required by church bylaws (canons). You are certainly invited to join if you are not already part of the community.  

What if one or both are divorced? Although the church views marriage as a lifelong commitment, it recognizes that sometimes marriages cease and relationships break down. The church offers support to persons seeking remarriage after divorce. The priest will help you look what happened in the earlier marriage, and what you have learned about yourself from the breakdown. Through this process, the church will do all it can to ensure that the new relationship will be life-giving.  

What is the marriage service?

The service includes a statement of Christian marriage, readings from scripture, and sometimes a sermon. Family members may take part in the service by reading scripture or leading prayers. Then come the vows made to each other, and prayers. The couple signs church and civil marriage registers, as do two witnesses, and the priest. The service may conclude with Holy Communion, or simply with a blessing.    

Must there be a Holy Communion service?

The marriage service is a joyous time of thanksgiving. Holy Communion (often called the Eucharist) acknowledges that the source of love in this marriage is God. This is especially meaningful when many of the guests are Christian. However, Holy Communion is not always required – discuss this with the priest performing the marriage.  

Is there a fee for a marriage service? Normally there are fees for a marriage service. This includes the church rental, clergy, and music director. The Hall may be available to rent for the reception. Contact the administrator for cost and availability. It is customary to make a donation to the life of the church but it is not required.  

What about music? St. Matthias’s organist is in charge of all music at weddings. Our Music Director plays both Piano and Organ and can be contacted with specific hymn/song requests.  

How do we go about arranging a marriage?

The first step in moving toward marriage is to contact the church office for an interview with a priest. It is best to arrange this meeting at least three months in advance of the desired date of the marriage service.  

How does the church support marriage following the marriage ceremony? The church is a caring community in which both the joys and struggles of life are shared and celebrated. The weekly Sunday service offers a focus for your lives, connection with people with common values, a time for families to be together, and a source of spiritual strengthening and renewal.  

Questions? We hope some of your questions have been answered in this pamphlet, but we know there may be more! We want this day to be beautiful as you make this sacred covenant to each other and God, so do not hesitate to be in touch.   We wish you peace and joy and you prepare for this special day. May your life together be filled with deep and abiding love.